14 years, 4 months and 19 days. That is the age of the youngest winner on the Ladies European Tour. For many, those teenage years will have revolved around your schooldays, Facebook and how not liking a certain band was the difference between popularity or not, but for Atthaya Thitikul, it’s all about winning golf tournaments.
The previous teenage sensation to hold the record of youngest ever winner on tour was a certain Lydia Ko when she won the 2013 New Zealand Open aged 15 years, 9 months and 17 days. Well, we all know what happened next for Lydia Ko.
Gaining a sponsor exemption from the Sports Authority of Thailand, Thitikul believed that she could use the experience to help her in the future. Her aim was to make the cut, have fun and learn. Little did she know that she would win the whole tournament.
She would end the event with a two-shot lead over Ana Menendez to claim the title but due to her amateur status, Thitikul would have to do without the first prize of 45,000 euros. Whilst that would go to Menendez, it is the Atthaya Thitikul that takes home the trophy as the LET’s newest record holder.
Following her record-breaking victory, Thitikul said: “I’m so happy and proud of myself. I did not look nervous, but of course, I felt nerves on the first tee and on the first hole. I did not think about the score. I committed to every shot I hit and stayed relaxed. My caddie helped me a lot, not to think too much, to focus on my game plan and to plan the tee shots and second shots.”
“My family do not play golf. When I was younger, aged six, my father told me to play sport and he offered tennis or golf and I watched golf on TV and I liked it.”
We are glad that she opted for golf. Expect to hear a lot more about this Thai sensation.